Have you heard of Print on Demand, but don’t know where to start? Here’s our step-by-step tutorial to making your first print design – and your first sale.
Watch the video below:
Print on Demand is an awesome way to earn an income online.
It’s fun, lucrative, and – the best part – fits like a groove into your Dropshipping store.
But, of course, there is a slight catch: Finding the RIGHT designs.
This is the part most people fail at, yet the most important if you want to make money with Print on Demand.
That’s why in this post I’ll be sharing how to target the right products, and where to find them.
At the end of this article, you’ll have your own print on demand product set up in your store, ready to make your first sale.
Let’s get started.
The Secret Behind $10,000/Month Print on Demand Products
Here’s the straight truth: Designs are EVERYTHING in print on demand.
E v e r y t h i n g.
That’s why, if you choose the wrong design, your chances of making any kind of money with print on demand fall to zero.
There’s two ways most people find winning products:
#1: Target trends. This is effective, until you start running a treadmill trying to constantly chase the next big thing.
#2: Target a super-hot niche. This is what I LOVE. Finding your OWN passion niche by crossing two passion niches together.
This is similar to Dropshipping. Only difference being that instead of picking one niche, you combine two niches together.
This is really important: Combining TWO niches together. The “twist” (mixing two niches) is what wins your customer over, which is why it’s super important to nail this part.
You want people to feel like your products and designs speak to them and embody them in a unique way that they haven’t seen before. That will be what motivates them to take their credit card.
Take this example below: Coffee and pugs. Both niches have raving fans, so when combined creates a really passionate niche with people who love BOTH pugs and coffee.
It’s also worth mentioning this design alone makes over $10,000 a month. However, this design wouldn’t be as successful if it was just one niche.
You show a pug owner a pug shirt and what do you get?
Sure, you’d probably get a reaction – but a very mild and moderate one.
You show them a shirt with pugs and coffee – two of their favourite things – and you’ll have them clamouring to get their hands on one.
The key isn’t randomly putting two designs on a shirt: It’s triggering emotion. RAW emotion. That is how to get people to buy from you.
Now you know the key to finding good products, it’s time to find one. Starting with a design.
Step #1: Look for illustrations
When it comes to print on demand, the common reaction to finding a design would be “Design?! I’m not a good designer!” or “I SUCK at art. Why would anyone like my designs?”.
But here’s the good thing: You don’t have to be! In fact, most print on demand designs (ones that generate thousands of dollars) never had some Picasso behind them.
Instead of wasting your money on graphic designers, you can use Shutterstock to find amazing artwork for Print on Demand products.
The best part? You can buy any design and start testing them today.
Illustrations go best on printed shirts, so look for these exclusively. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for step two.
Step #2: Search for a niche
On the search bar, type in the niche you’re interested in.
Find a good design from both niches, searching one niche at a time. There is the alternative option to search both niches at once, but you’ll wound taking a lot more time finding a final design.
And if your cross niche is outrageously weird, chances are there won’t be any illustrations for it.
The benefit of searching one niche at a time means you have a lot more options available, and – even better – you’re able to find cross niche ideas that have ALREADY been created, like this unipug design below.
Knowing these two niches already have raving fans in them, this could’ve been an awesome cross niche to delve into should we had taken this forward.
A great tip for finding a niche is to follow any passions you have. Following your passion is how to motivate yourself to find a good niche. And also, how I bumped into this design.
Pugs & coffee!
If you’re a loyal subscriber here at WT, you know about my weird obsession with coffee. Making this the perfect niche to tap into.
Finding a good design isn’t enough though. The next step is finding whether there’s a demand for your niche.
Step #3: Find whether there is a demand for your niche
Sadly, thinking isn’t enough. Knowing your market is how to really find out whether a customer will pay for your design.
To do this, go on Facebook and set up a new ad. It doesn’t really matter what type of ad you create: we just want to check the fan base with the targeting tool. So, make sure that you have the United States targeted. And if it’s relevant for your cross-niche, select the gender.
Next, come down to targeting. What we want is to see if we can cross our niches together and find an audience of between 100,000-500,000 people. That size is small enough to indicate it’s highly targeted towards people’s passions and interests, but big enough to have plenty of buyers.
Type in the primary niche of your cross niche.
As you can see, Pug Lovers is what I chose from the keywords. When combined with Coffee from the interest lists, we have a reach of 110,000 people – exactly what we’re after.
Step#3: Add products to your store
Now you’ve found a great cross niche design, it’s time to add them to your store.
To do this, we’ll use a Shopify app called Printful. This is a free app where you can print and send custom print designs to your customers for products such as t-shirts, posters, canvas, mugs etc.
Once installed, you’ll need to create an account (takes 1 minute). After this, you should be all set to add your first product to your store.
To make the rest of this step easier, simply follow the instructions word-for-word below.
- Click the “Add Product” button.
2. Click Choose file.
3. Click upload.
4. Select the image of the illustration you picked from Shutterstock. Once selected, Printful will display your illustration on a sample T-shirt. This is quite handy, since you don’t want to print out a shirt to only find it looks terrible in real life.
5. If you’re completely happy with how your design looks, click “proceed to mock-ups”. If not, you can select another design you’d like to test on Shutterstock. Or, if you like the design but aren’t too happy with the orientation, you can re-adjust the size of the image.
6. On the next page, have another look at your design. Double check you’re happy with everything, then click “proceed to description”.
7. Edit your production description. Over here, you can change your product title and description, so it appears how you wish in your store. Once you’re done with that, click “proceed to pricing”.
8. Select your pricing. You can do this in two ways. 1) Set the pricing for each size individually or 2) if you’re lazy, just set your profit margins to however much you want to make and Printful will automatically generate a price!
9. Once you’ve done that, click “product collections” and choose which collection you’ll be printing the design on (for this example, it’s shirts you’ll be printing your design on). Once complete, hit “submit to store”.
10. After a couple seconds, your design would have successfully loaded to your store. To see how it looks on the front-end click “View in Shopify”.
Step #4: Set up the order process
Now you’ve added a product to your store, the next step is setting up a payment gateway. This is a big step because when a customer orders a shirt, you need to be set up to pay Printful for the order. So, let’s do that now.
- Return to the Printful dashboard and select the “billing” option.
2. Next, click the first “add payment method” option.
3. Click the “save payment method” button.
4. Add in your credit card details into the fields.
5. Once complete, click “save payment method”.
And that’s it! Now you’ve added a product AND set up your payment method, I have one more bonus step to help give your store that professional edge…
BONUS: Add your store logo to the shipping slips
Although entirely optional, this bonus step will help you to build a real, actual brand for your store and encourage repeat customers.
- On the settings page inside Printful, select “packing slip” from the menu on the left.
2. Click “select image to upload” and select your store logo image you have saved on your computer.
3. Once complete, hit “save”!
It’s awesome you’ve successfully added a print on demand product to your store. And to take what you’ve learnt today to the NEXT level, here are some additional tips.
Tip #1: Upload images in HD. A pixelated image is the last thing a customer will want to see on their shirt. To avoid this, make sure your image is uploaded as a PNG file, and its uploaded in 300 dpi.
Tip #2: Avoid pictures with coloured background. This disrupts the printing process and makes your design come out messy.
Tip #3: You can print more than just shirts. Don’t be afraid to experiment on other things like: Wine glasses, blankets, clocks and even shower curtains.
Tip #4: Buy the right image license. You can’t just use the standard image license when purchasing images on Shutterstock to resell by printing them on products. Purchase the ENHANCED image license.
Thanks for reading this post. Before you run off though, I’d like to offer you something.
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So, what do you think?
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